We all know what google is. It has become an intrinsic part of our lives. But have you ever wondered why it is so successful? It has been successful in creating a base of regular users. The success of the smooth functioning of a company is because of the organizational structure of that company. Google’s organizational structure is known for its beneficial characteristics. The article will elaborate upon the Google Organizational Structure and its pros and cons.
Google’s organizational structure is an amalgamation of different types of organizational structures. It has taken the virtues of different organizational structures and molded them as per their convenience. The organizational structure of Google is an amalgamation of a functional, divisional, and flat structure. You can know more about the traits of the organizational structure of Google in the subsequent sections of the article.
Google: You all know it
We all very well know what Google is. It is a search engine company based in the United States. However, it is not just a search engine, but certainly more than that. Over the years, Google has been successful in launching products of its own. Its success is owed to its exceptional organizational structure.
The organizational structure of a company plays a crucial role in its success. The organizational structure should align with the mission, vision, and values of the company. An alignment of all these factors becomes the reason behind a company’s success. Google has an aligned organizational structure, which has made it one of the world’s largest companies. It has been successful in creating a permanent base of users and buyers because of its smooth functioning.
Google’s organizational structure: An amalgamation of different organizational structures
Google is prominent for combining different organizational structures and molding them as per its convenience. It can be said that it has a cross-functional and team-based organizational structure. As mentioned earlier, Google’s organizational structure is an amalgamation of a functional, product-based, and flat structure. Here are the key features that the Google organizational structure has adopted from these three organizational structures.
- Functional organizational structure
In this structure, the employees are divided based on the functions they perform in the company. The teams are allotted different works to do. There are separate teams to perform specified functions. For instance, there is a department for marketing. A separate department is devoted to finances. To head the teams, executives are appointed. The division of the team based on functions is to make sure that the working is smooth. It improves the communication amongst the company. The work would be more organized as one department will be responsible for one thing. They will then coordinate with other departments. It would make the business processes easier and smooth. It would be convenient and easier to solve any problems that may arise within the company.
- Product-based organizational structure
Product-based groups are an integral part of Google. It is because they are the minds behind developing new and competitive products for the market. They have the job of giving innovative ideas to the company. They work as per the current market situation. For instance, there are departments for cloud operations and artificial intelligence in the company. They work in coordination with each other and provide ideas for the products that have to be launched. Each department has an executive in charge who looks after the smooth functioning. The product-based organizational structure helps create new products and meet the demands of the present and the future. Google benefits from it as this helps them fulfill their mission and vision.
- Flat structure
Google is a company that does not believe in adhering strictly to the vertical lines of hierarchy in the organization. Every employee has the right to keep their stance on various issues. Even junior employees are given a fair chance to contribute to the innovation that takes place in the company. Such a diverse set of opinions help the company to improve and aim for the better. Google believes in effective communication amongst the bosses and the employees, and even amongst the employees. The company is of the view that communicating problems and ideas helps in the better functioning of the company. A flat structure is also beneficial because it gives the employees an opportunity to showcase their ideas and talents. It makes the employees the decision-makers. It makes them feel important. People feel attached to the companies that grant them the chance to stand out and retain their individuality in a team. This structure helps in motivating the employees to work efficiently for the company.
After knowing about the organizational structure of Google, now we are in a position to analyze why this structure is different from the traditional organizational structure of the other companies.
How is it different?
Google does not follow the conventional organizational structure of a corporate company where the employees who are lower in the hierarchy have to report to those who are at the top. Here are some of the features that would make it clear that Google is different from its contemporaries:
- Cross-functional structure
Google has an organizational structure that is cross-functional where the responsibilities are divided amongst various departments. It makes the work faster and easier. The teams can coordinate and make things work out in a better manner. Not many corporate companies have such a team-based organizational structure.
- Horizontal hierarchical structure
In most corporate companies, there is a vertical hierarchical structure. In this, the employee who is in the lowest position is obligated to report to those who are at the top. In simpler words, junior employees have to report to their seniors. They do not have any say in the functioning of the company. They just have to carry out the work they are being asked to do.
However, when it comes to Google, employees have facilitated the opportunity to express themselves and ideate with others. Even the employees at lower positions are treated equally when it comes to giving ideas. So, Google has an organizational structure that is a blend of horizontal hierarchy and matrix organizational structure. Matric organizational structure involves re[porting to different heads rather than just one boss. Since the employees have to report to multiple heads, the power hierarchy reduces. There will be no concentration of power in the hands of one person.
- Flatness, flexibility, and autonomy
We all know Google takes pride in creating flexible working conditions for its employees. Its flat structure permits it to give autonomy to its employees. At Google, the company attempts to enhance the work efficiency of its employees by making them the decision-makers. The employees are given flexibility in everything they do. They are allowed to give ideas, take their stance in all the discussions, and many more. Google is an ideal place to work for a reason. And its flat structure is one of the most prominent reasons. This kind of flexibility and autonomy is not provided by many corporate companies. There, you have to do the work you have been assigned, you cannot give ideas or keep your stance in front of your seniors.
Pros of the organizational structure of Google
Google’s organizational structure has benefited the company in many ways. Some of its pros are as follows:
- Increased productivity
Google has an organizational structure that can be credited as the reason behind its increased profits and productivity. The functional organizational structure permits Google to have separate departments for various works. It makes the work easier and increases the productivity of the employees. Since the employees have to handle only one department, they have to focus on one issue. This way they can give their best in the department concerned and increase the productivity of the company.
- Diverse opinions, better ideas
At Google, the employees are given the autonomy to spill out their ideas on all the topics. Since employees at Google come from different backgrounds, their ideas are diverse. It provides the company with different ideologies to deal with and create something new out of it. Innovations are the best when you have diverse groups of people giving ideas about them. The flatness of the company permits the employees to showcase their ideas.
- Effective Communication
There should be an understanding amongst the employees and their bosses. And Google has been successful in doing so by giving its employees a safe and healthy environment to work. The company allows its employees to communicate not just their ideas, but also their problems. Since it has a somewhat horizontal hierarchical structure, it is easier for the employees to tell their problems to the seniors. And they together endeavor to figure out the solution to the problems.
- Widening the horizons of the employees
At Google, you have to report to multiple heads as compared to just one head. It helps you to learn from several senior people. It helps you to widen your horizons and understand yourself better. The company facilitates its employees to learn multi-tasking by reporting to several heads.
Cons of the organizational structure of Google
However, the rosy picture that the organizational structure of Google creates is not that rosy. There are some loopholes in the organizational structure of Google.
Some of the cons are as follows:
- The problem of reporting to multiple heads
Though reporting to multiple heads helps the employees to widen their horizons and learn more. It can become problematic for the employee. The burden of reporting to multiple heads would make the work-life cumbersome for the employee. The matrix structure has its pros, but its loopholes cannot be ignored.
- Fewer opportunities
Since Google employees have to report to multiple heads, their probability of getting a promotion reduces. They have to make a positive impression on all the heads to get a promotion. This can be hectic for them and would not give them a chance to grow.
- Strained relations
Goole tries to create a healthy work environment. But due to the concept of reporting to multiple heads, the employee might get frustrated. It can result in strained relationships between the bosses and the employee. It becomes difficult for an employee to work in such an environment, where there are frequent clashes with the boss.
These were some of the loopholes in the organizational structure of Google. There is room for improvement in the organizational structure of Google.
Google is a prominent and successful company. It is lauded for having a successful organizational structure that makes it possible for it to work efficiently. Google follows a cross-functional organizational structure that is also team-based. It is an amalgamation of ideal traits of many types of organizational structures.
Employees at Google are granted the right amount of autonomy. It helps them enhance their skills. Google’s success is also owed to the flexibility of work in the company. However, there is still room for improvement in the company’s organizational structure. As we know, change is inevitable. With time Google also needs to evolve its organizational structure. If it fails to evolve, the consequences would not be in favor of the company.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What are the different organizational structures that Google has incorporated within itself?
Google has incorporated different organizational structures within itself. Some of them are the functional organizational structure, the product-based structure, and the flat structure. It has a cross-organizational structure. A blend of horizontal hierarchical and matrix organizational structure has also been incorporated in Google’s organizational structure.
What is the flat structure in the organizational structure of Google?
The flat structure feature of the organizational structure of Google permits the employees to become the decision-makers. Instead of the conventional vertical hierarchical structure where the employees at the low positions have to report to those at the top, Google has a horizontal hierarchical structure. It provides the employees with the opportunity to give their opinions on various matters. This way, employees get to showcase their talent in front of their seniors. It also helps them to improve themselves by having insightful discussions with the seniors.